Thursday 19 April 2007

Calls to pull the chain on town's plush loo 'love nest'

I can't help putting this story up ...

PARIS is paseé, Rome is too retro, and Venice is oh soooo last century. No, when it comes to passion there is only one centre truly flush with romance, the superloo in Tuam.

It seems that Cupid has been directing a barrage of arrows at the town's plush WC.

Amorous couples on the way home in the wee small hours have found the commodious surroundings and exceptional taste - not to mention exceptional value - simply irresistible.

The public convenience is just a little too convenient.

Now the town's councillors have assumed the role of passion killers and are out to pull the chain on the cut-price love nest.

Mayor Sally Ann Flanagan said last night she was "horrified" to hear that people are taking advantage of the privacy the WC offers, adding that it was her understanding that there was a sensor on the structure to stop two people entering it at the same time.

"As far as I'm aware that is the situation with superloos in Galway city and if this is not the case in Tuam, then we must demand that such a sensor be put in place to stop this disgraceful carry on," she said.


"I had a fear that this might happen and it is shocking that people would use the loo for this sort of activity. This is inconveniencing others who want to use the loo and it is a disgrace that it should be happening."

Several young people who were waiting to use the town centre loo after leaving a disco at the weekend said they were amazed at how long they had to wait.

But they were doubly amazed when a courting couple emerged arm in arm from the loo.

"We understand that the loo was malfunctioning at the time but this is no excuse for such behaviour at 1.30am as people were queuing up to use the loo," said one young man who observed the incident.

The young man and his girlfriend, as well as several others, were waiting to use the facility at the time.

Tuam gardai said they had not received any complaint about this activity at the town public toilet.

Since it was erected at the aptly-named Shambles Car Park last month, the superloo has been beset with problems.

It has also annoyed many people that it costs 50c to "spend a penny" at the facility.

The new superloo - which has already courted controversy for taking money and then failing to open its doors - was also blamed for destroying one woman's clothes when the water jets went off at the wrong time.


Earlier this month when Mayor Flanagan, Cllr Imelda Kelly and others tried to use the loo before a council meeting they discovered that while the facility was taking coins in the slot, it was not opening to accept other deposits. Nor was it returning the coins.

Yesterday the loo was again out of order but it was at least returning coins put in the slot.

"The only good thing about the facility isthat the problems wehave highlighted inTuam are mirrored at superloos in othertowns and perhaps this will put pressure on the powers that be to solve the problem," said the Mayor.

The superloo, which is said to cost approximately €500,000 has been acquired on a lease and maintenance deal by Galway Co Council of around €35,000 per year.

Tom Gilmore
Irish Independent

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